After a slow and somewhat unremarkable press conference last year (except for For Honor of course) I am hoping that Ubisoft will take a different approach this year and do us proud. Their core strength does reside in their existing IPs, however their new IP portfolio is definitely benefiting from experimentation and collaboration.
Ubisoft’s current state
Ubisoft, after celebrating its 30th birthday last year, seem to be climbing to greater heights as far as both business and pure gaming success is concerned. In terms of monetary success the company made €1.459.9 million ($2178 million) in the fiscal year 2016-2017, which was a record high, up 4.7% year on year. This was comprised mainly of digital revenue (50% of total sales) and back catalogue sales (44.5%).
Ghost Recon Wildlands, aside from being the best industry performing game since the start of the year, has seen a community growth rate of approximately 60%, now constituting 44 million unique registered players. For Honor, the stunning hack and slash entry that has more than one of the Checkpoint team swooning, ranked as the industry’s second best selling game.
Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, stated:
“The execution of our strategic plan fully paid off in 2016-2017, with further strong growth for the digital segment. Over the last 3 fiscal years, Ubisoft has – with remarkable success – created numerous new brands and rebooted Rainbow Six Siege and Ghost Recon.”
“Our dynamic trajectory is being led by the growing footprint of video games in the entertainment industry. Ubisoft is playing a leading role in this respect thanks to the creativity of our teams, the power of our owned brands, the digital transformation that has generated direct relationships with our communities, and our numerous growth drivers, particularly in terms of geographic markets.”
What we KNOW
The 2016-2017 fiscal year report may have also hinted at what will definitely be part of this year’s E3 lineup, being that the following games were confirmed by Yves Guillemot as part of the 2017-2018 lineup. It was also confirmed in writing that the line up for the following two fiscal years will be principally comprised of established franchises.
Assassins Creed: Origins
If the new Assassins Creed title doesn’t get shown this year I will eat.. something. It has been as good as confirmed with the recent “leaks” of screenshots and merchandise. We’ve had a whole year’s break from this particular franchise, and for good reason really; Syndicate really didn’t float my boat like Black Flag. I hope against hope that the extended development time irons out some of the bugs and inconsistencies that have plagued these games. If they ruin the fantastic opportunity that Egypt presents them I will never forgive them.
Far Cry 5
The 11th installment overall and the 5th major title in the series, we know that Far Cry 5 will take place in Montana, kicking off with a cult leader named Joseph taking over territory in the fictional region of Hope County. We’ll be playing as a sheriff’s deputy seeking to lead the resistance. Given it’s release date of February 27th 2018 Ubisoft would be silly not to take this opportunity to showcase more of this game than was given in the teaser trailer. This would maintain interest and energy.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
At last year’s conference and even the EB Expo in Sydney, we were really only fed dribs and drabs of this game. Again, given the merchandise that has been confirmed for later in the year, as well as the October release date, I would not be surprised if this game takes up a chunk of this year’s press conference. It’s been a long time coming for the game since its gigantic delay, so some more hands on demonstrations would go down a treat.
The Crew 2
The sequel to the 2014 original, Ubisoft has remained incredibly tight lipped about this game. We got the first hint in the fiscal earnings report, information that it would be released some time in the next year, and the logo. Given the recent announcement that it is on the way, I can only assume they will be fleshing this one out a bit at this year’s conference.
What we HOPE
The Division 2
The original Division was released in 2016, and there were multiple interviews with creative director, Magnus Jansén that indicated a sequel would be on the cards if and when content based in midtown ran stale. Online sentiment and current game content seemingly corroborate now as that time, and I would like to see the formula applied to other locations around the globe. In Magnus’ own words:
“The pandemic has definitely spilled over and out from New York, so there are many places around the globe we can go, and who knows what the future may hold.”
Rayman is a nostalgia hit and a half for me, and we’ve been talking about the fact that good platformers have been few and far between at Checkpoint for a while now. Given the amount of written evidence suggesting the resurgence of existing titles lately I really hope that this is one of them. It has been 4 years since Rayman Legends and 14 years since my ultimate favorite: Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc. I feel like a remastered collection would go down a treat.
If we don’t get Rayman, there is also the rumoured crossover title Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle which appears to have been confirmed via images received by Kotaku. Though it’s definitely not my favourite idea ever, I do commend Ubisoft for the apparent decision to branch out and try something new.
Ubisoft hopefully have some other tricks up their sleeve, with some potential for some more VR titles after Eagle Flight and Star Trek: Bridge Crew both were decent attempts at the new market. We’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best!
The Ubisoft E3 conference will be showing at 6am on June 13 AEST.